DOWNTOWN | GSP Trooper had history of accidents

1:37 AM, Jan 7, 2012   |    comments
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  • Fired State Trooper Donald Crozier
  • Porter family SUV hit by speeding State Trooper on New Years Eve.

ATLANTA - The Georgia State Patrol Trooper who was involved in a wreck that killed the wife of Atlanta Braves Trainer Jeff Porter had a history of car accidents in his ten year history.

Since he joined the State Patrol in 2002, Trooper Donald Crozier has been involved in twenty accidents in his patrol car, according to his personnel record.

Seven of those accidents were determined to be his fault and he was disciplined for them. Since 2008 he had been at fault in five accidents. Last year he had two accidents in two days. One on February 8, 2011 and one on February 10,2011. He was at fault in both accidents.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is investigating the most recent crash on New Years Eve when Kathy Porter was killed. According to witnesses at the scene Trooper Crozier "failed to use due regard when traveling through the intersection at Capitol Avenue and Memorial Drive on a red light."

Crozier was fired Friday. The State Patrol's Commissioner said in a written statement Friday.

RAW AUDIO | 911 Call in wreck that killed Braves trainer's wife - Call 1
RAW AUDIO | 911 Call in wreck that killed Braves trainer's wife - Call 2
RAW AUDIO | 911 Call in wreck that killed Braves trainer's wife - Call 3

"Earlier today, I terminated the employment of [Trooper First Class] Donald Crozier as a trooper in the Georgia State Patrol," Colonel Mark McDonough said in the statement.

REPORT | GSP Crash Report Capitol & Memorial
STATEMENT | GSP Commissioner Colonel Mark McDonough Remarks on the Wreck

"We extend our deepest condolences to the Porter family on their loss and they, along with Ms. Williams, remain in our thoughts and prayers," McDonough said.

RELATED | State may not pay damages in wreck that killed wife of Braves trainer

The GBI and Fulton County District Attorney's office were investigating the Saturday crash that killed 54-year-old Kathy Porter.

The Georgia State Patrol initially reported Jeff Porter was behind the wheel of his Ford Expedition, when a state trooper crashed into the vehicle at the intersection of Memorial Drive and Capitol Avenue in downtown Atlanta.

RELATED | Investigation underway into crash that killed wife of Braves trainer

Trooper First Class Donald Crozier, a 10-year veteran of the force, was traveling westbound on Memorial Drive with his lights and siren activated on his way to assist another trooper who was attempting to stop a motorcycle on I-20, according to the GSP.

The patrol car hit Porter's SUV on the passenger's side, pushing the vehicle into a utility pole.

Jeff Porter, his 19-year-old son David and 18-year-old Courtney Ann Williams were treated for injuries at Grady Memorial Hospital. They've all been released. 

Crozier was also taken to Grady to be examined, according to the GSP. He was initially placed on administrative leave.

The crash was also investigated by the Georgia State Patrol's Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team.

Crozier issued a statement through attorney Michael Hawkins, Friday afternoon: "I am still suffering emotionally and physically as a result of the accident, but it is nothing compared to what the Porter family is going through. I am so sorry for their loss and I think of them and pray for them every day."

Crozier said he will continue to cooperate with investigators looking into the accident.

"I have known Donald for almost a decade, and he has always exhibited the finest qualities of a trooper with the Georgia State Patrol," said Hawkins. "He spent his life protecting the public on our roadways, and he is having a very difficult time knowing that the accident he was in resulted in the loss of life."

The Braves issued the following statement Saturday night: "The Braves family is deeply saddened and shocked to learn about the tragic accident today involving the family of Head Athletic Trainer Jeff Porter and the death of his wife Kathy. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jeff and Kathy's family, their son David and all their friends and loved ones." 

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